Scoliosis & Exercises
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. While t looks like a curve towards one side it is a 3-dimensional curve. Most often scoliosis is diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence. Scoliosis can be classified by aetiology: idiopathic, congenital, neuromuscular, and structural.
80% of all scoliosis cases are idiopathic, which means there is no known cause.
Who should engage in specific Scoliosis Exercises?
Scoliosis exercises should be considered by everyone with this condition wherever they are in their journey as curves may progress when aging and frequently cause chronic pain along the way.
The severity of your scoliosis is measured by the Cobb angle on an X-ray. From a 10-degree Cobb angle onwards it is recommended to engage in specific exercises. From 40-49 degrees it is recommended to wear a brace when you still have some growing to do (adolescent). From 50 degree onwards surgery is considered. However, any scoliosis at any stage will benefit from exercises to reduce muscular pain and increase lung and heart function.
PPP will be able to assist you on the journey to a stronger you!
Why specific exercises for your scoliosis?
Specific Exercises for moderate to severe scoliosis are a nonsurgical option to manage the health of vital organs affected by scoliosis. The exercises are customized for returning your curved spine to a more natural position.
The goal of these specific exercises is to de-rotate, elongate and stabilize your spine in a three-dimensional plane.
What type of exercises are right for your scoliosis?
The spine rotation in scoliosis is different in each person. Scoliosis specific exercises are tailored to your unique curvature of the spine. These exercises can be performed while standing, sitting, or lying down. Props such as wedges or small balls can also be used to assist in correcting scoliosis.
Scoliosis exercises, although different from person to person, include three important components:
1) Muscular Symmetry
The changes in the curvature of your spine also affect the muscles in your back. On one side of the back the muscles may weaken and waste away. On the other side, the muscles may be overworked and prominent.
Scoliosis specific exercises are designed to address both problems, aiming to achieve muscular symmetry.
2) Rotational Angular Breathing
In these specific exercises a special breathing technique called rotational angular breathing is used. The idea is to rotate the spine with breathing to help reshape the rib cage and surrounding soft tissue.
3) Awareness of Your Posture
Mirrors help develop awareness of posture. Being aware of the position of your spine is the first step to correcting it. Postural awareness is especially important when it comes to activities of daily living. If you have scoliosis, you will always need to be mindful of the positions that may make it worse.
What results can be expected from a specific scoliosis exercise program?
Most patients see visible improvement in the degree of their spine curvature after completing a specific exercise program. The length of the program may vary.
At PPP Cronulla, our sessions typically last from 45 minutes to an hour. The length and frequency largely depend on the patient’s tolerance and the extent of the scoliosis.
20 sessions are recommended to continue to self-manage independently thereafter.
Besides the correction of the curve, outcomes of a scoliosis specific exercises may include:
- Improved posture
- Improved core stability and strength
- Easier breathing
- Less pain
- Improved overall movement pattern and function
- Improved self-management and understanding of the spine
- Better pelvis alignment
The main goal of exercising specifically is to prevent the scoliosis from advancing.
However, a long-term commitment to specific exercises and guidelines is necessary to make this treatment successful.
Please talk to Physios or reception staff at PPP Cronulla and make an appointment today for yourself or your child!